USTR - Recent Chronology in the Airbus WTO Case
                 
The Office of the United States Trade Representative

Recent Chronology in the Airbus WTO Case
10/06/2004

2000                            Clinton Administration, in consultations with Boeing and Congress, escalates discussions with the EU regarding concerns over subsidies for the Airbus A380, but ultimately declines to file a WTO case.

 

2001-2003                   United States, in consultations with Boeing and Congress, views the utility of the 1992 Agreement with increasing concern, as Airbus reaches parity with Boeing in the marketplace.

 

2004                            Matters changed significantly this year as talk surfaced of new subsidies for a new Airbus plane to compete with the planned Boeing 7E7.

 

April 26, 2004             Boeing announces launch of 7E7 with a 50-plane order from All Nippon Airways.

 

May 2004                    U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick meets with European Commissioner for Trade Pascal Lamy; proposes new agreement eliminating new subsidies for large civil aircraft.

 

July 2004                    Airbus begins to talk publicly about possibility of launching the “A350" to counter the 7E7.  Airbus refuses to rule out the use of subsidies for the A350.

 

July 22, 2004              Senior U.S. and EC representatives meet to discuss need for new agreement eliminating new subsidies for large civil aircraft.  EC is noncommittal.

 

August 13, 2004         President Bush instructs USTR Zoellick to pursue all options to end the subsidization of Airbus, including the filing of a WTO case, if need be.

 

September 16, 2004   Senior U.S. and EC representatives meet again to discuss need for new agreement eliminating new subsidies for large civil aircraft.  As in July, the EC refuses to commit to the negotiation of a new agreement.

 

September 28, 2004   In an interview, Airbus CEO Noël Forgeard gives clearest sign yet that Airbus intends to launch the A350, and that Airbus will seek government aid to help finance the project pursuant to the 1992 Agreement.

 

September 30, 2004   USTR Zoellick and Commissioner Lamy hold discussions on bilateral and multilateral issues, discuss Airbus and Boeing issue.